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Each route can define its own HTTP headers. One of the common headers is the Cache-Control header that indicates to browser and CDN caches where and for how long a page is able to be cached.

import type { HeadersFunction } from "@remix-run/node"; // or cloudflare/deno

export const headers: HeadersFunction = ({
}) => ({
  "X-Stretchy-Pants": "its for fun",
  "Cache-Control": "max-age=300, s-maxage=3600",

Usually your data is a better indicator of your cache duration than your route module (data tends to be more dynamic than markup), so the action's & loader's headers are passed in to headers() too:

import type { HeadersFunction } from "@remix-run/node"; // or cloudflare/deno

export const headers: HeadersFunction = ({
}) => ({
  "Cache-Control": loaderHeaders.get("Cache-Control"),

Note: actionHeaders & loaderHeaders are an instance of the Web Fetch API Headers class.

If an action or a loader threw a Response and we're rendering a boundary, any headers from the thrown Response will be available in errorHeaders. This allows you to access headers from a child loader that threw in a parent error boundary.

Nested Routes

Because Remix has nested routes, there's a battle of the headers to be won when nested routes match. The default behavior is that Remix only leverages the resulting headers from the deepest headers function it finds in the renderable matches (up to and including the boundary route if an error is present).

ā”œā”€ā”€ users.tsx
ā”œā”€ā”€ users.$userId.tsx
ā””ā”€ā”€ users.$userId.profile.tsx

If we are looking at /users/123/profile then three routes are rendering:

    <Profile />

If a user is looking at /users/123/profile and users.$userId.profile.tsx does not export a headers function, then Remix will use the return value of users.$userId.tsx's headers function. If that file doesn't export one, then it will use the result of the one in users.tsx, and so on.

If all three define headers, the deepest module wins, in this case users.$userId.profile.tsx. However, if your users.$userId.profile.tsx's loader threw and bubbled to a boundary in users.userId.tsx - then users.userId.tsx's headers function would be used as it is the leaf rendered route.

We don't want surprise headers in your responses, so it's your job to merge them if you'd like. Remix passes in the parentHeaders to your headers function. So users.tsx headers get passed to users.$userId.tsx, and then users.$userId.tsx's headers are passed to users.$userId.profile.tsx's headers.

That is all to say that Remix has given you a very large gun with which to shoot your foot. You need to be careful not to send a Cache-Control from a child route module that is more aggressive than a parent route. Here's some code that picks the least aggressive caching in these cases:

import type { HeadersFunction } from "@remix-run/node"; // or cloudflare/deno
import parseCacheControl from "parse-cache-control";

export const headers: HeadersFunction = ({
}) => {
  const loaderCache = parseCacheControl(
  const parentCache = parseCacheControl(

  // take the most conservative between the parent and loader, otherwise
  // we'll be too aggressive for one of them.
  const maxAge = Math.min(

  return {
    "Cache-Control": `max-age=${maxAge}`,

All that said, you can avoid this entire problem by not defining headers in parent routes and only in leaf routes. Every layout that can be visited directly will likely have an "index route". If you only define headers on your leaf routes, not your parent routes, you will never have to worry about merging headers.

Note that you can also add headers in your entry.server.tsx file for things that should be global, for example:

import type {
} from "@remix-run/node"; // or cloudflare/deno
import { RemixServer } from "@remix-run/react";
import { renderToString } from "react-dom/server";

export default function handleRequest(
  request: Request,
  responseStatusCode: number,
  responseHeaders: Headers,
  remixContext: EntryContext,
  loadContext: AppLoadContext
) {
  const markup = renderToString(
    <RemixServer context={remixContext} url={request.url} />

  responseHeaders.set("Content-Type", "text/html");
  responseHeaders.set("X-Powered-By", "Hugs");

  return new Response("<!DOCTYPE html>" + markup, {
    headers: responseHeaders,
    status: responseStatusCode,

Just keep in mind that doing this will apply to all document requests, but does not apply to data requests (for client-side transitions for example). For those, use handleDataRequest.

Docs and examples licensed under MIT