CSS Drop Shadow vs Box Shadow


Understanding the difference between Box shadow vs Drop shadow

20 Aug, 2020 · 2 min read

The other day Josh made a super cool tweet about drop-shadow supporting PNGs. I didn’t know drop shadow supported PNGs, so I decided to give it a go.

HTML Structure

For my example, we are using my favorite Pokémon, “Eevee”, and will place our three Eevee PNGs in a container.

<div class="container">
  <img src="" />
  <img src="" class="box-shadow" />
  <img src="" class="drop-shadow" />

As you can see, one will be a raw example, one will have a box shadow, and the third will have a drop shadow.

CSS Box Shadow

You probably have seen and used the box-shadow before. It’s a cool feature and adds a shadow to our “box”.

It works like this:

.box-shadow {
  box-shadow: 0px 0px 10px #000;

It puts a shadow on the image, but on the box of it.


CSS Drop Shadow

Then there is a CSS Filter which is fantastic when contouring a PNG!

.drop-shadow {
  filter: drop-shadow(0px 0px 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5));


This all will result in the following Codepen.

See the Pen CSS Drop Shadow vs Box Shadow by Chris Bongers (@rebelchris) on CodePen.

Browser Support

As mentioned before, CSS Filters are excellent, but not widely supported yet 😩.

There is a polyfill, but also limited.

CSS Filter support

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