Mongoose: Sorting Documents by Multiple Fields

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

Managing data effectively often requires sorting documents by one or more fields. Mongoose, the go-to ODM for working with MongoDB in a Node.js environment, provides a straightforward way to achieve multi-field sorting.

Basic Sorting Approaches in Mongoose

In Mongoose, the .sort() function is key to ordering documents. It can take either a string, an object or functions to define the sorting order. Usage details will be explored through code examples.

Single Field Sorting


const mongoose = require('mongoose');
const { Schema } = mongoose;

const userSchema = new Schema({
  name: String,
  age: Number

const User = mongoose.model('User', userSchema);

async function sortUsers() {
  const sortedByName = await User.find().sort('name'); // Ascending by name
  const sortedByAgeDescending = await User.find().sort('-age'); // Descending by age

Sorting by Multiple Fields

When multiple fields are involved, Mongoose enables various approaches to establish both priority and direction in sorting.

Chaining sort methods:

async function chainSort() {
  const users = await User.find()
    .sort('name') // First priority: name ascending
    .sort('-age'); // Second priority: age descending

Using an object for sorting:

async function objectSort() {
  const users = await User.find().sort({
    name: 1, // Ascending by name
    age: -1  // Descending by age

Advanced Sorting Techniques

Building on the basics, advanced techniques often involve conditional sorts and dealing with more complex document structures.

Sorting with Aggregation


async function aggregateSort() {
  const users = await User.aggregate([
    // Other aggregation stages
    { $sort : { name : 1, age : -1 } }

Dynamic Sorting Based on User Input

An example is worth more than a thousand words:

async function dynamicSort(sortField, sortOrder) {
  const sort = {};
  sort[sortField] = sortOrder === 'asc' ? 1 : -1;
  const users = await User.find().sort(sort);

Performance Considerations and Indexing

Sorting efficiency can be significantly influenced by the use of indexes. An in-depth explanation will be given regarding usage and benefits in the context of sorting.

Working with Nested Documents

When dealing with nested structures, path notation allows for specific field targeting in subdocuments for sorting.

async function nestedSort() {
  const blogs = await Blog.find().sort({'': 1, '': -1});


In conclusion, Mongoose offers flexible, powerful tools for sorting documents by multiple fields. Through proper technique, one can easily order queries to most effectively serve their application’s needs.