Mongoose vs mongodb native driver – what to prefer?

Mongoose or mongodb native driver, which one to use? This is one of the initial queries for a node-mongo developer; and probably one of the most important ones. Because one use Object Relational Mapping (ORM) and another Object Document Mapping (ODM); so chainging the driver later on in your project can immensly increase your work. So you need to decide the driver very wisely.

Mongoose Mongodb native
 Object mapping ORM ODM
 Schema Mandatory Not necessary
 Performance / processing time Not bad Excellent
 Development time Fast Average
 Default promise No No
 Maintainability Easy Little hard
 Learning curve Little high Low
 Community Good Good

Below is a point by point comparison of the two drivers. Try to relate the scenario of your project with them, I hope you will be able to find out which one is the best for you.

ORM or ODM – What is good for you?

ORM or Object Relational Mapping is based on the principal of having strict models or schemas. In ORM, which mongoose is using, you have to define your schema structure. There has to be a fixed schema.
ODM or Object Document Mapping is the core concept of mongo itself; and same goes with mongodb native driver. Mongodb doesn’t need any fixed schema. You can insert or update whatever and however you want.


So, is it a disadvantage to have a fixed Schema? No. Certainly not. This even gives a structure and more maitainability to your application code. This doesn’t hamper the scalability feature of mongo; because if in future if your app grows and there is a need to add few more fields, you can modify the schema and work accordingly (which is certainly not a bis task).
Eg: If you want to develop a website to sell movie tickets, to store the inventories it’s better to have a fixed schema. Cause you know that the inventories will have fixed properties.

Mongodb native:

There are situation when a fixed schema can become a curse. Suppose you have an online glossary shop. So will you create a schema for every different kind of product; cause all of them have different property sets? Probably this is where you would like to go with a document mapping way and select mongodb native for that.

Performance & Development time

Well, in terms of performace, the low level things are always better; no doubt. But you may face other overheads. Fast processing time may slow down your development time and also the vice versa. Lets see how mongoose and mongodb native stands against performance and development time.


If you are developing an app for a client which wont be having millions of users or very high read/write concurrency, and you want to develop it fast, than there is no reason not to select mongoose. Development with mongoose is really fast. You don’t need to take the overhead of creating a connection, closing it in proper time. Optimizing the connection, making promises etc. Abstruction layer of mongoose does all these for you.

Mongodb native:

CRUD operations using mongodb native is really faster than mongoose. If you digg in the internet you will find stats also; something like this
But if you do a single db operation in each web request, and follow the conventional ways of mongodb (opening a db connection, finish your operation and close it) and you have millions of concurrent requests, your app will die. Cause the proper way would be opening and closing a db connection and handle each request in optimized way. You cant just open and close it for each request. So this optimized handling need to be coded by you if you are making a performant app using mongodb native; for what you have to spend a little extra development time (it’s not that hard thing to do).


For any long term project, maitainability is a big factor. Easy to maintain code reduces your project cost very much. When you have wrapers like mongoose which forces you to create a schema and do things with the help of models, definately gives your project a structure and thus easily maintainable. But this never means mongodb native has a disadvantage on maintainability. If you follow good coding structure, you abviously can make the app good. But the only thing is, you yourself have to write good piece of code.

Learning curve

Neither of them are hard to adopt. But in you have done operations in mongo client in your early days with mongo, than choosing mongodb native would be great for you. Cause it has the same syntax as mongo client and will take zero effort to understand the concept.


Till now I always prefered mongodb native. The reason is, if something is more performent, than I do not mind to put some extra effort to structure my code and optimize the behavior. But may be for any urgent deliverable project I will go with mongoose. You can choose your diver basing on the conditions and according to your situation; but the point I strongly believe is, nothing sould be more important than performance.

About This Author

Hello! I am Paul Shan, a JavaScript Expert, Full Stack and DevOps Engineer cum Consultant based out of Bengaluru, India.

  • And why should I every connection to mongodb to close?

    • metalshan

      Didn’t get what you said. Are you asking why should we close the connection? That’s because of security. Many frameworks do it internally

    • Oh, I see. I should use a framework. Like a mongoskin.js. It is closing connection internally.

    • Paul Shan

      Yeah, but just for that you don’t have to use a framework. You can write a small piece of code for that.

  • Alejandro

    I know it’s a little bit out of context, but could you share with us some trick on how to optimize the code to use the native-driver?

    • metalshan

      What kind of optimization? Didn’t get you. Are you talking about that read/write without opening and closing again and again? If yes give your email Id I will send.

    • Suresh Prajapati

      Hello Paul
      can you send me the same optimisation tricks and anymore(if any) with me. my email id is
      Tons of thanks in advance.

    • Paul Shan

      Well, that’s something I did a year ago. I don’t think I have those piece of code with me now. Will send u some info is possible after the holiday weeks. merry christmas and new year 🙂

  • sudeep

    thanks for post..I got a project where already done lots of API using mongo-client and lots of CURD operations and 1mn user will do all operation @same time so what will be best to use , schema will not change frequenty its going to be fixed… i was planning to move to mongoose , and code is alos we written Like you mention close all connection in native drive . so i m confused what to do .

    • metalshan

      “Having” 1 million users shouldn’t be a reason to reject or accept any of these two. Things to consider is if you are having very frequent read write operations. for millions of r/w operations.
      If you feel comfortable with mongoose, don’t have excessive requests and the schema is also fixed, than you can happily go ahead with mongoose.

    • sudeep

      Thanks for reply@metalshan

  • Manas Parganiha

    Hi, till now we were using the MySQL DB and we are facing lot issue related to number of connections and slow output. is mongo Db is better performance for getting big customised report?

    • Paul Shan

      hey Manas, sorry I was not much involved in voidcanvas for the past 6 months.
      Well, you should always choose a db and design the architecture depending on “How you want to query the data”. There are pros and cons of everything. For a better assistance you may tell me more about your requirements.

    • Manas Parganiha

      Thanks Paul for response. Could you please send mail id to I’ll share the use case.

  • Anonymous

    Just a small correction: ORM is Object Relational(not Rational) Mapping.

    • Paul Shan

      Thanks buddy. corrected.

  • Rasheed Ali

    What needs to be done with

    overhead of creating a connection, closing it in proper time. Optimizing the connection, making promises etc. for MongoDBFrom

    • Paul Shan

      You can use the same connection everytime, keeping it open always. But make sure this doesn’t make you app blocking. Cause if that connection is already busy and you try to execute something else; it will probably make it synchronous.

  • joe3487

    Hi – Mongo 3.6 now has JSON schemas so I was wondering what advantage mongoose still has over using a native driver?

    • Paul Shan

      Haven’t used that yet; but probably it won’t be as strong as any ORM… like supporting nested models and all.

  • C Sarami

    Can anyone guide me a large express project with MongoDB native driver. Every thing I find is using Mongoose!

    • I can help you do the same. I do always prefer MongoDB Native Driver and believe me, Performance is really better with this. But for a large scale application you must have to optimize your queries (Mostly in nested queries or in Aggregation Pipelines)