When comparing Materialize vs HTML5 Boilerplate, the Slant community recommends Materialize for most people. In the question“What are the best Bootstrap alternatives?” Materialize is ranked 3rd while HTML5 Boilerplate is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Materialize is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Large selection of components
CSS components: Badges, buttons, cards, collections, footer, forms, icons, navbar, pagination, preloader.
Mobile-specific: slide-out drawer menu, toasts.
Pro Device agnostic
Since Materialize follows Google's guidelines for Material design, which in theory is device agnostic, Materialize itself is device agnostic too. It's designed to look good on every device.
Pro Great-looking demo
Pro Mobile navigation
Pro Nice showcase of sites built with Materialize
While the default style is not bad at all, Materialize also gives developers the ability to customize it and fit their own style, while still keeping in line with the Material Design philosophy.
Along with the CSS files, designers can also download the SASS files which can be edited and compiled.
Pro 12-Column Grid System
Pro Included icon font
Pro Meteor.js integration by developers
Material design is very opinionated on how design elements should behave and look. The basics of which revolve around certain visual elements (physics, space, momentum and light) which are used to create specific UX elements.
This is very helpful because it creates a consistent feel without making every design look the same. This can be seen in Materialize too, where each element may be customized but still it keeps the consistent look of the material design.
Pro Includes a comprehensive set of server configuration files
These configuration files may help increase performance of the webapp.
Pro Includes Modernizr
Modernizr checks browser support for HTML5, CSS3, as well as a few other miscellaneous elements and allows for easily writing fallbacks if they're not supported.
Pro Documented and undocumented versions
To help out newcommers to either programming in general or HTML5 Boilerplate specifically, the boilerplate includes in-depth docs that help understand how things work and why certain choices are made. The documentation is highly comprehensive going even as far as to describe every single line of normalize.css that the H5BP includes.
Pro Cross-browser normalization
H5BP includes normalize.css that will help fix inconsistencies in the way browsers render elements.
Pro Performance optimizations
HTML5 Boilerplate theme doesn't only provide a base template for building your next modern site. It also has performance optimization features built into it which include stuff like html + js minification , image size reduction as well as css minification. This link here describes how to optimize your shiny new html5 site using these built in features.
Pro Optional support for XHR and Flash
With optional support for XHR, we can use techniques such as XHR eval and XHR injections to optimize the loading of external scripts and significantly reduce page load times. Alongside XHR, built-in support for Flash means that you can use your old swf/flash content on your website, where you feel you're not ready for HTML5 yet.
Con Large / heavy
267 kilobytes, minified, for the CSS and JS.
Con Not a complete solution
HTML5 Boilerplate is basically just that, a template or a basis on which to build an HTML page. It doesn't have much mark up or components out of the box. In other words, it doesn't provide all the components and tools needed to build a UI, it contains best practices and a generall template on which to build your UI.