How to Perform Case-Insensitive Queries in Mongoose

Updated: December 31, 2023 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment

Working with databases often requires flexibility in how queries are performed. In Mongoose, the ODM library for MongoDB in Node.js applications, you can perform case-insensitive queries to enhance the user experience. Understanding how to implement these queries can significantly improve the functionality of your application.

Understanding Mongoose Queries

Before diving into case-insensitive queries, let’s familiarize ourselves with the basics of querying in Mongoose. Mongoose provides a rich API for creating complex queries on MongoDB documents.

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

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

const Person = mongoose.model('Person', personSchema);

Person.find({ name: 'John Doe' }, function(err, people) {
  if (err) return handleError(err);

Basic Case-Insensitive Query

To perform a case-insensitive query in Mongoose, you can use regular expressions. Here’s a basic example:

Person.find({ name: new RegExp('^John Doe

This query will match ‘john doe’, ‘John Doe’, ‘JOHN DOE’, or any other case variation.

Using Query Helpers for Case-Insensitive Searches

Mongoose’s query helpers can be used to simplify the creation of case-insensitive queries. Let’s see how to employ them effectively:

personSchema.query.byName = function(name) {
  return this.find({ name: new RegExp(name, 'i') });

var query = Person.find().byName('John Doe');
query.exec(function(err, people) {
  if (err) return handleError(err);

The byName helper is a custom method added to our schema’s query object that allows us to reuse a case-insensitive search for the name field.

Indexing for Performance

When performing case-insensitive queries, it’s essential to consider the impact on performance. Using indexes can help improve query speed. However, normal indexing will not help with case-insensitivity. We need to use a special type of index called a ‘text index’ or manipulate the data:

personSchema.index({ name: 'text' });

Person.find({ $text: { $search: '"John Doe"' } }, function(err, people) {
  if (err) return handleError(err);

Using a text index will enable case-insensitive and partial matching for queries.

Collation for Case-Insensitive Queries

In MongoDB version 3.4+ (which was released a very long time ago), collation support was added, which brings case-insensitive querying to a new level. With collation, we can execute the queries taking the document’s locale into account:

  .collation({ locale: 'en', strength: 2 })
  .exec(function(err, people) {
    if (err) return handleError(err);

The strength: 2 option is what makes the magic for case-insensitivity happen here.

Advanced Case-Insensitive Searching

For more complex scenarios, such as case-insensitive search across multiple fields, Mongoose provides powerful aggregation pipelines:

  { $match: { $text: { $search: '"John Doe"' } } },
  { $sort: { score: { $meta: 'textScore' } } }
]).exec(function(err, people) {
  if (err) return handleError(err);

This approach yields efficient and flexible case-insensitive searches on larger datasets.


Performing case-insensitive queries in Mongoose is not only feasible but also essential for creating a user-friendly search. Whether utilizing regular expressions, text indexes, or the collation feature, there are several ways to achieve flexible searching within your Mongoose models. Remember to consider performance implications and use indexes whenever possible to ensure efficiency.