10 free minimalist WordPress themes

In my previous post I wrote about some premium minimalistic themes and had promised that I will make a post about free minimalist wordpress themes next. So here it is, I am making good on my promise.

All of these themes are available as free and open source themes. Some of them surpass several paid themes in terms of looks and typography but I have generally found that they are also a bit minimalist on functionality as compared to the premium themes.


Tonal from Automattic sports a minimal design with large featured images. It can display images and videos at full width. The menu and widgets are hidden from sight in a pull-down panel. The background adaptation feature on this theme is unique. Select any solid background color and the theme will automatically modify your typography and other elements to preserve readability with the new background color.

Demo & Download


Papaver is a minimalist theme that puts the focus on your words. With column layout this theme makes your content look like a beautiful book. This theme offers one, two or three column layouts. Unfortunately this also needs the most code editing to make it really work well.

Demo & Download

Hellish Simplicity

Hellish Simplicity is a theme created by Ryan Hellyer. This is a theme I particularly love for it’s bold typography. It’s a clean, responsive theme that looks great on mobile devices. You may want to use the responsive menu plugin with this one if you are using it on mobile devices because it does not have a menu of it’s own.

Demo & Download


Gravit supports post formats and large featured images. The theme customizer has many controls including color controls for the post format icons, site title, text and background. Gravit also includes a unique “About Me” page design and template.

Demo & Download


Dazzling is a clean, modern and responsive flat design WordPress theme with pixel perfect design and outstanding functionality that can compete with premium themes. It is a highly customizable theme with unlimited color variations, several widget areas, flexible featured slider and much more.

Demo & Download


“Touchfolio” is simple theme created with focus on content and providing great user experience on majority of desktop and mobile devices. It has a skinning system based on LESS CSS (similar to variables in Twitter Bootstrap). Controls photoshop file included in the download.

Demo & Download


A clean, simple and responsive theme for bloggers. Features responsive design, retina ready assets, custom styling for all post formats, custom page templates, custom widgets (video, Flickr and Dribbble), custom accent color, editor styles and translation-ready code.

Demo & Download


Casper WP theme is a port of the gorgeous default theme from the Ghost blogging platform. It is based on the Underscore theme.

Demo & Download


Spacious is free multipurpose responsive theme, use it for your business, portfolio, blogging or any kind of site. Has 4 layouts, % custom widgets and 13 widget areas. It also had a premium version.

Demo & Download


This theme describes itself as clean, responsive theme for your targeted or personal blog.

Demo & Download

  • Papaver looks best!

  • Hans


    Thank you for putting that collection together.
    Unfortunately I did not find the theme I was looking for.

    I saw a WP theme somewhere on a “best minimalist WP themes” list. It was a very simple design, black text on a white background. The most eye-catching design element was a red bar underneath all the horizontal navigational links. When you clicked on those links the red bar would drop down a little bit, but only from one site, as if it was hinged (the way you draw an open door on an architectural drawing).

    I’m desperately looking for that theme. Has anybody seen it?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated.