You should use Functional Programming instead of OOP when working with React

In my opinion, OOP may actively hamper your ability to understand and use React JS.

Janith Silva
3 min readNov 5, 2023

Okay, the above statement is an unpopular opinion and I will most likely get a reaction like this:

Yes, You can certainly use Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) principles and techniques in React, but it’s important to understand that React is primarily designed around a different programming paradigm known as component-based architecture. React encourages the use of functional programming and a declarative approach to building user interfaces, rather than the classical OOP approach.

But Why?

Component-Based Architecture

In React, components are the building blocks of your application. Although you can use React to construct class components, using functional components and hooks is a more preferred and up-to-date method.

While OOP encourages building complex hierarchies of objects, functional programming encourages component composition. Functional components, introduced in React 16, are purely functional and compose seamlessly. This encourages the creation of smaller, more focused components that can be reused throughout your application, resulting in a cleaner and more maintainable codebase.


OOP can occasionally make React apps unnecessarily complex. Class hierarchies, inheritance, and other OOP ideas can make it more difficult to read and update your code. React’s component-based architecture promotes modularity and the division of responsibilities, which streamlines the organization of your code.

State Management

React has its own state management system using the useState and useReducer hooks. While OOP often relies on object state and encapsulation, React's state management is typically managed within the components themselves. Using traditional OOP for state management may lead to more convoluted code.

Immutability and Pure Functions

Functional programming promotes immutability and pure functions, two key concepts that can lead to more predictable and maintainable code. Immutability ensures that data doesn’t change once it’s created, reducing side effects and making it easier to reason about your code. Pure functions, which always return the same output for the same input, promote predictability and enable more straightforward testing.

React developers often employ immutability and pure functions, especially when working with state management libraries like Redux or when using the new React Hooks API. These functional concepts align naturally with the principles of functional programming.

Testing and Debugging

Functional programming makes testing and debugging easier due to the predictability and purity of functions. With OOP, you may encounter issues with state mutations and hidden dependencies, making it more challenging to pinpoint and resolve bugs. Functional programming, on the other hand, leads to more testable and debuggable code, as components are less tightly coupled and easier to reason about.

Should I start over?

It’s not a hard and fast rule that you should never use OOP in React. Some developers find ways to incorporate OOP patterns when building specific features or when working with third-party libraries that follow an OOP approach. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the trade-offs and potential complications that OOP can introduce in a React application. In most cases, following React’s recommended patterns and practices, such as using functional components and hooks, will lead to cleaner, more maintainable code.

That’s it for today folks. See you soon, Peace!