8 Amazing React Sandboxes to Boost Your Skills

React sandboxes provide a virtual space for developers to easily build, test and share React code without complex local setup. They come preconfigured with tools like editors, preview windows, and bundlers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 8 stellar sandboxes and how they can level up your React abilities.

Benefits of React Sandboxes

Before diving into the tools, let‘s overview five key benefits you can unlock using these React playgrounds:

1. Bypass Local Setup – Skip installing Node.js, React and configuring a dev environment. Sandboxes have it ready out of the box.

2. Share and Collaborate – Easily share runnable code snippets and invite others to collaborate.

3. Multi-device Optimization – Most sandboxes automatically optimize output for web, mobile and different viewports.

4. Live Editing – See changes in real-time as you code via hot reloading.

5. Interactive Testing – Quickly build UIs, debug issues and test ideas without "polluting" local projects.

1. Stackblitz – Feature-Packed & Free

Stackblitz is arguably the most fully-featured React sandbox available for free. It‘s built on top of the VS Code editor for a familiar workflow.

Some standout aspects:

  • 🚀 Instant startup – Starts coding immediately with React setup out of the box
  • 👥 Built-in collaboration tools – Live share editor, code reviews and more
  • 📦 Dependency management – Easily install packages from npm/Yarn
  • 🔬 Debugging – Leverage debugger and console output
  • 🌐 Deployments – One click deploy to static site hostings

The free plan works great for individuals. Paid teams plans with private repos start at $8.25/month.

Best for – Collaboration and sharing code examples

2. CodeSandbox – Simple Yet Powerful

CodeSandbox offers a streamlined editor tailored for React. The intuitive UX makes it a breeze to start coding.

Notable aspects:

  • ⚡️ Instant React environment – Uses create-react-app under the hood
  • 🖥️ Feature-packed editor – Supports linting, autocomplete, shortcuts
  • 🔀 Integrations – Connect local VS Code or export to GitHub
  • 🔎 Transparent – Clearly shows folder structure and config files
  • 💻 Cross-editor – Syncs changes when switching devices

CodeSandbox has a "forever free" plan with public repos. Paid pro plans with private repos start at $15/month.

Best for – Quickly testing React code

3. CodePen – Build Right Inside the Browser

CodePen offers a browser-based React editor with live view, console and assets sidebar. It‘s great for mocking up ideas.

Useful aspects:

  • 📝 In-browser editing – No installs required
  • 🖌️ Drag-drop assets – Easily add images, fonts, etc
  • ✏️ Multiple themes – Choose light, dark or other syntax highlighting
  • 🔗 Embeddable – Share via embed or link
  • 🛠️ Custom configs – Control autosave, indentation and more

Codepen is free to use but has paid pro plans starting at $8/month.

Best for – Quick in-browser mockups

4. Glitch – Friendly Collaboration

Glitch makes collaboration smooth with built-in chat, comments and real-time editing. It‘s beginner-friendly but capable.

Useful features:

  • 👋 Friendly onboarding – Guides you from blank slate to app
  • 💬 In-tool chat – Chat about projects without leaving
  • 📝 Comments – Discuss specifics with comments
  • ✏️ Real-time editing – See collaborator‘s cursor
  • 📚 Starter kits – Apps to start customizing

Glitch has a free plan where projects are public. Paid plans for private projects start at $8/month.

Best for – Beginners and collaboration

5. Uiw.js – For Library Development

uiwjs offers a React sandbox tailored for component and library development. The minimal setup helps you focus on building.

Standout aspects:

  • 🧱 Build components – Tests isolated pieces
  • 📚 Developer focused – Made for devs by devs
  • ⚛️ React focused – Everything centers on React
  • 🤝 Open source – Actively developed on GitHub
  • 🔀 Integrations – Link to GitHub, GitLab and more

uiwjs is completely free and open source. Paid plans unlock additional features on the underlying CodeSandbox environment.

Best for – Library and component development

Best Practices for Using React Sandboxes

While features vary across sandboxes, some practices will optimize your experience:

1. Modular Architecture – Break UI into reusable components for easier testing.

2. Organized Files – As complexity grows stay organized with folders/comments.

3. Consistent Styling – Consider CSS-in-JS solutions like Styled Components.


React sandboxes allow you to boost React skills without messy local setup. Each tool we covered has unique strengths:

  • Stackblitz – Feature-packed and free
  • CodeSandbox – Simple and streamlined
  • CodePen – In-browser mocking
  • Glitch – Beginner-friendly collaborating
  • uiw.js – Tailored for library building

Evaluate your needs – features, collaboration, simplicity etc. With the right sandbox, you can painlessly level up your React abilities and build impressive UIs!