Choosing the Right Database for Your React Native App

Mobile developers today use React Native to build cross-platform applications. In order for them to build a complete and high performing app, eventually, they will need to use a database for persisting their data.

What are your options?

Reliable performance, good security, offline sync and compatibility with other stacks are some of the factors considered when searching a database. With these in mind, here is a list of top database options for React Native:


An easy-to-use storage system that uses unencrypted key-value pairs in saving data. But because it only accepts a string as its value, all data must be serialized and deserialized every time it is being used. This functionality slows down its performance when used in a large amount of data.


SQLite is an open source SQL database that supports relational database features designed for mobile apps. Accessing the database only needs SQL statements for creating and updating the database. However, each access to the database involves the file system which can be slow. Therefore, when doing operations in SQLite it is recommended to perform it asynchronously.


Realm is an object-oriented database rather than a relational database. The OO model makes Realm database much faster than SQLite and AsyncStorage in terms of performance when fetching and storing large amount of data. Additionally, because it also supports JSON, data change notifications and encryption, Realm is the most commonly used database for offline-first apps.


Firebase is a database that store and sync data with NoSQL cloud database. Data is synced across devices in real-time and supports data persistence even if the app is offline. It also provides a cross-platform API that requires a minimal setup which makes it easy to use. However, in terms of security, firebase stores data on the cloud which is not encrypted. Therefore, it is advisable not to use Firebase as a database for apps which handles sensitive data.


PouchDB is an open-source JavaScript database which is designed to run well within the browser but can also be used in mobile. Just like firebase, PouchDB supports data synchronization across multiple users. It stores data as a JSON format and allows you to perform CRUD operations with a simple JavaScript API.


Database selection always depends upon the app you are making. You need to know about the app’s requirements first before you can find a suitable database for your project. There may be a lot of things to consider but we suggest you to work with different types of databases over time and try to figure out their pros and cons to help you find the best database that satisfies your needs.


Earl Dahildahil

Earl is a self-taught Mobile App Developer at Project Assistant. He continues to learn on his own by watching online tutorials, reading blogs, and researching on the internet and constant practice.