The padding-top CSS property sets the height of the padding area on the top of an element.

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An element's padding area is the space between its content and its border.

The effect of the CSS padding-top property on the element box

Note: The padding property can be used to set paddings on all four sides of an element with a single declaration.


/* <length> values */
padding-top: 0.5em;
padding-top: 0;
padding-top: 2cm;

/* <percentage> value */
padding-top: 10%;

/* Global values */
padding-top: inherit;
padding-top: initial;
padding-top: revert;
padding-top: revert-layer;
padding-top: unset;

The padding-top property is specified as a single value chosen from the list below. Unlike margins, negative values are not allowed for padding.



The size of the padding as a fixed value. Must be nonnegative.


The size of the padding as a percentage, relative to the inline size (width in a horizontal language, defined by writing-mode) of the containing block. Must be nonnegative.

Formal definition

Initial value0
Applies toall elements, except table-row-group, table-header-group, table-footer-group, table-row, table-column-group and table-column. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Percentagesrefer to the width of the containing block
Computed valuethe percentage as specified or the absolute length
Animation typea length

Formal syntax

padding-top = 
<length-percentage [0,∞]>

<length-percentage> =
<length> |


Setting top padding using pixels and percentages

.content {
  padding-top: 5%;
.sidebox {
  padding-top: 10px;


CSS Box Model Module Level 3
# padding-physical

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also