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Best JavaScript Date Picker Widgets

Read Time: 5 mins

In this article, I'll show you some of the best JavaScript date picker widgets that you can use in your projects.

When it comes to letting users enter dates in forms, there are a couple of solutions that you could choose from. Traditionally, before the advent of jQuery and other advanced JavaScript libraries, we were used to presenting drop-down boxes for date selection in forms. Usually, there were three drop-down boxes to select the day, month, and year.

This worked okay, but there were a few problems. First of all, it was tedious for users to select a date value that way, and there was a chance that the user would select an invalid date (e.g. February 30th). So you had to validate the selected date as well.

With the advent of date picker widgets, it’s become fairly straightforward to choose date values. Integrating these widgets with your forms is just a matter of including the desired date picker library in your project and binding it to specific input elements. In this article, we’ll highlight the best JavaScript date picker libraries available in the market that you could use in your projects.

In the next section, we’ll discuss some popular date picker libraries in JavaScript, along with some examples.

Best Free JavaScript Date Picker Widgets

1. HTML Built-in <input type="date"> Element

Once upon a time, you would need to use an external library to have a date or time picker on your website or app. No longer! The first date picker you should reach for today is the built-in HTML <input type="date"> element and the related <input type="time"> element. These don't need any extra code or dependencies and should work on all modern browsers.

These pickers also let you restrict the selection to a range of dates or times. They also have excellent mobile support and will display the device native date or time picker on a mobile browser.

Sometimes you want extra features or styling, which is where the third-party date picker libraries come in.

2. pickadate.js

The pickadate.js library provides a mobile-friendly, responsive, and lightweight date and time picker, which is really straightforward to integrate in your projects. You can also use it with jQuery 1.7 or later.

It comes with translation for over 40 languages, so it’s a really useful library for you if you want to integrate it with your multilingual projects as well. More importantly, it has a tiny JS and CSS footprint.

Let’s go through the following example to understand how you can use it in your projects.

There are a few ways that you include this library, but we’ve used precompiled libraries to keep things simple. You can also use yarn or node to install it in your Node or React project.

Once you’ve included the necessary libraries, it’s just a matter of calling the pickadate method on the element which you want to convert into a date picker element. When you click on the date element, it will display a nice popup, which allows you to select the date of your choice. If you want to provide an element which allows users to select the time, you can use the pickatime method instead.

3. Bootstrap Date Picker

The Bootstrap-datepicker library provides a flexible date picker widget in the Bootstrap style. It’s compatible with Bootstrap 3 and 4, and it’s really easy to use it with jQuery.

Let’s go through the following example to understand how you can use it in your projects.

Once you’ve included the necessary libraries, you just need to call the datepicker method on the element which you want to convert into the date picker element. When you click on the date element, it will display a nice widget, which allows you to select the date of your choice.

4. flatpickr

flatpickr is a lean, lightweight, and extensible library that allows you to create date and time picker elements effortlessly. Its rich, exposed APIs and event system make it suitable for any environment. It comes with a tiny JS and CSS footprint and provides good performance.

Let’s go through the following example to understand how you can use it in your projects.

As you can see, you just need to call the flatpickr method on the element which you want to convert into the date picker element. Apart from that, it also provides the time selection along with the date, if you pass the optional configuration by setting the enableTime setting to true.

5. Date Range Picker

Date Range Picker is a really useful library when you want to allow users to select two dates: the start and end of a date range. It provides a single input control which allows users to select a date range of their choice. Instead of providing two separate input controls for a date range, a single input control makes things much easier for users.

Let’s go through the following example to understand how you can use it in your projects.

As you can see, you just need to call the daterangepicker method on the element which you want to convert into the date-range element. When you click on the input date element, it displays two calendar widgets side by side that allow you to select a date range.

6. jQuery UI Datepicker

The jQuery UI Datepicker library is a standard jQuery UI widget which allows you to implement date pickers effortlessly. You can easily tie the date picker to a standard form input field. It provides a nice interactive calendar widget in a small overlay.

It’s pretty straightforward to use—you just need to call the datepicker method on the element which you want to convert into a date picker element. The jQuery UI Datepicker library provides various customization options that you could use to present the date picker elements.

It also provides an interesting feature which allows you to display an inline date picker. The inline date picker is always visible, unlike the regular date picker element, which is only displayed when a user clicks on the field. Let’s have a quick look at the following example to understand how it works.

Conclusion

Today, we looked at the most popular free date picker libraries in JavaScript and saw examples of how to use each one.

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