useSWR vs. React Query – Differences and which one should you choose?

useSWR vs. React Query – Differences and which one should you choose?

Many libraries allow you to fetch data in React, but two of the most popular are SWR and React Query. These two libraries may appear similar at first glance, but they have some critical differences. This blog post will look at the differences between useSWR vs React Query and help you decide which is suitable for your project.

What is useSWR?

useSWR is a React Hooks library for data fetching that provides a synchronous API. When you call an API method, useSWR will automatically orchestrate data fetching and return it to your component. 

useSWR can fetch data from any source, including APIs, databases, and server-side rendering.

What is React Query?

React Query is a library for managing async data in React. It is based on React Apollo’s client in a big way, but it has fewer features and is smaller.

React Query provides a set of hooks and tools to fetch, cache, and update async data in React apps. In addition to the core hooks, React Query also provides some helpful utilities for Data Management, error handling, and pagination.

Twitter, Lyft, Shopify, Spectrum Health Grand Rapids, Auth0 Docs, and Portainer, among other companies, uses React Query.

Difference between useSWR and React Query

useSWR and React Query has a few key differences you should consider before choosing one.

  1. useSWR is limited to fetching data from a single API endpoint. React Query, on the other hand, can fetch data from multiple API endpoints. This makes React Query more versatile when it comes to data fetching.
  1. useSWR will return the latest data from the API endpoint. This can be useful if you want up-to-date data, but it can lead to race conditions. React Query has a built-in caching mechanism that allows you to control how often data is fetched from the API endpoint. This makes React Query more reliable when fetching data.
  1. useSWR does not provide any way to handle errors when fetching data from an API endpoint. React Query, on the other hand, has a built-in error-handling system that allows you to handle errors when they occur gracefully.
  1. useSWR is explicitly designed for react hooks, while React Query is compatible with react hooks and traditional class-based components.
  1. useSWR is built on top of SWR, a React hooks library for fetching data. React Query, on the other hand, is built on top of Axios.
  1. useSWR allows you to query remote data sources, whereas React Query focuses on caching and fetching data from your application’s API.
  1. useSWR will automatically refetch data when dependencies change, whereas React Query lets you decide when and how often to refetch data.
  1. useSWR returns uninitialized values until the first request is completed, whereas React Query will return cached values immediately (if they exist).

What should you choose?

There are many options for state management when using React, and deciding which is suitable for your application can take time. 

useSWR, a wrapper around React’s built-in fetch API, provides a more straightforward way to fetch data from a backend service. React Query, on the other hand, is a standalone state management library that provides similar functionality to useSWR.

The main difference is how these two libraries handle caching. useSWR will automatically store the data you get, so you won’t have to ask the network for it again if you need it. Instead, you’ll get it from the cache. This is great for speed, but if your backend service is updated often, it could lead to outdated data. React Query gives you more control over caching, so you can clear the cache when it’s not helpful.

Another difference is how each library handles pagination. useSWR will automatically paginate the data you fetch, so you do not have to keep manually fetching more data as the user scrolls down. React Query does not have built-in support for pagination, but it does provide an easy way to implement it yourself. 

useSWR is an excellent option if you’re looking for a simple way to fetch remote data. React Query a better if you need more control over caching and fetching data from your API.

So, which one should you choose? If you need a simple way to fetch data from a backend service, and you don’t mind if the data is sometimes stale, then useSWR is a good option. If you need more fine-grained control over caching or if you need to support pagination, then React Query is a better choice.


There is no clear winner between useSWR vs React Query. Both have benefits and drawbacks, so you must decide based on your specific needs and preferences. If you need a simple solution for fetching data, then useSWR might be the better option. React Query is the way to go if you need more functionality and customization options. Take the time to learn as much as possible about your options before settling on a library.

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