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How to change Bootstrap navbar height

Published: 7.1.2016 | Last update: 22.2.2019

Today I would like to share a quick tip with you that you will find handy in case you need to change Bootstrap navbar height.

There are more methods but I would like to tell you about these two:

1. Change navbar height by overriding Bootstrap CSS definitions

If you are working with CSS files then this is my preferred method. You won't be editing Bootstrap CSS files, neither the Bootstrap theme's CSS, but override the setting in your own file. In my themes, I provide a custom.css file for changes like this one.

A big advantage of this approach is that when a new version of Bootstrap or of your theme is released, you just overwrite the files on your website but your modifications stay untouched.

So let's say, you want to change navbar height to 80px. All you need to do is to place these few lines into your custom.css file. 

Let me explain shortly:

  • You have to define height or min-height for few elements: .navbar, .navbar-brand
  • Change margin-top for the .navbar-toggle button that appears in the collapsed navbar. This needs to be calculated but it should be easy to do. A formula is in the code.
  • Change padding-top and padding-bottom and define line-height for uncollapsed navbar links. Values for padding again need to be calculated as you can see in the code below.
 .navbar {
  min-height: 80px;

.navbar-brand {
  padding: 0 15px;
  height: 80px;
  line-height: 80px;

.navbar-toggle {
  /* (80px - button height 34px) / 2 = 23px */
  margin-top: 23px;
  padding: 9px 10px !important;

@media (min-width: 768px) {
  .navbar-nav > li > a {
    /* (80px - line-height of 27px) / 2 = 26.5px */
    padding-top: 26.5px;
    padding-bottom: 26.5px;
    line-height: 27px;

Have a look at the result and experiment a bit yourself in this Codepen.

Change navbar height by editing Bootstrap {LESS} files

If you are working with Bootstrap {LESS} files, locate the file variables.less and find a line with similar content:

@navbar-height: 50px;

Now change the original value to the desired value and compile the {LESS} files to CSS.

One of these two approaches should be enough to have your Bootstrap CSS modified and change your navbar height. If you liked the article, let us know :)

Hi, I'm Ondrej, creator of Bootstrapious. I have published Bootstrap tutorials and freebies here since 2015.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day ;)

Ondrej, Bootstrapious

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