Mongoose: How to define a schema with TypeScript

Updated: December 30, 2023 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment

TypeScript provides a strong-typed language layer on top of JavaScript which makes it easier to understand and work with complex data structures—perfect for interacting with a database like MongoDB through Mongoose. This walkthrough will detail how to leverage TypeScript’s type system when defining Mongoose schemas.


Integrating Mongoose with TypeScript not only helps in keeping the schema definition clean but also enhances the development experience by providing IntelliSense and compile-time type checking. Let’s start by setting up a basic TypeScript project and installing the necessary dependencies.

Setting Up the Project

npm init -y
npm install mongoose @types/mongoose typescript ts-node
npx tsc --init

After initiating a new Node.js project, we add mongoose and its TypeScript type definitions, then initialize a TypeScript configuration file with `tsc –init`. The type definitions from @types/mongoose are crucial for TypeScript integration.

Defining a Basic Schema

import mongoose, { Schema, Document } from 'mongoose';

interface IUser extends Document {
  name: String;
  email: String;
  createdAt?: Date;

const UserSchema: Schema = new Schema({
  name: { type: String, required: true },
  email: { type: String, required: true },
  createdAt: { type: Date, default: }

const User = mongoose.model('User', UserSchema);
export default User;

In the code above, an interface IUser is created to match the Mongoose schema. It extends Document, which adds useful methods and properties, and marks createdAt as optional. The schema is then used to create a Mongoose model.

Advanced Schema Definitions

With TypeScript, we can define more complex schema types—like enums, arrays, and even nested schemas—and enforce strict typing for pre-hooks, instance, and static methods:

enum UserRole {
  ADMIN = 'admin',
  GUEST = 'guest'

interface IUser extends Document {
  role: UserRole;
  // ... other fields

UserSchema.pre<IUser>('save', function(next) {
  // 'this' is strongly-typed

UserSchema.methods.someMethod = function() {
  // 'this' refers to IUser

UserSchema.statics.someStaticMethod = function() {
  // 'this' refers to the model

These typifications bring additional layers of safety and documentation to the Mongoose schema structure.

Working with Relationships

In Mongoose, it is common to define relationships between documents. With TypeScript, these relations can be explicitly typed:

interface IPost extends Document {
  author: IUser['_id'];
  // ... other fields

const PostSchema: Schema<IPost> = new Schema({...});

UserSchema.virtual('posts', {
  ref: 'Post',
  localField: '_id',
  foreignField: 'author'

Where IPost ensures the correct type is at the author field to define the relationship properly.

Plugins and Middleware

Mongoose’s extendability via plugins and the usage of middleware can also align smoothly with TypeScript typing:

import somePlugin from 'some-plugin';

interface IUser extends Document, somePlugin.IPluginMethods {
  // ... fields inclusive of plugin methods

// Now methods from the plugin are correctly typed


Embracing TypeScript while defining Mongoose schemas can greatly improve the developer’s confidence in data integrity and application robustness. Seamless integration with strong types and decorators, comprehensive model method definitions, and improved maintainability are among the many benefits. Introducing it into your Mongoose schema definitions paves the way for more scalable and less error-prone development processes.