MobX vs Redux: Evaluating Two Popular Libraries For State Management


December 14, 2022


March 17th, 2023

There are multiple state management solutions, libraries, approaches, and systems that are getting popular. Of these, the two most popular ones that are often contrasted are MobX vs Redux. These two solutions are popular external libraries that take care of state management for front-end applications.

As for understanding state management, there are three parts to it. One is the State that reveals the application state, the second is the View that renders the current state, and the third is the Action that triggers a state change.

State management offers a structured workflow making the application State insignificant. It is meant to act as a common system especially when application complexity levels are high. The external libraries transfer state from components as independent units for application synchronization.

State management tools like MobX and Redux are necessary when your projects with React need to be scalable and have complexity. These tools help in making the changes obvious and perceptible.

Before we evaluate the difference between Redux and MobX, let us study them individually.

What is MobX?

MobX is a battle-tested library that makes state management simple and scalable by transparently applying functional reactive programming.

MobX is a popular, simple state management tool that makes it convenient to manage the local state in your application. It was released in the year 2015 and is written in JavaScript. It consists of State, Derivations, Actions, and Reactions. Events evoke Actions that can originate with the user or application. These can modify the observable State and MobX transmits changes to all Derivations and Reactions.

MobX and React, together, offer a great output in which React renders the app state into renderable components and MobX offers the method to store and update the application state used by React. It assists in the easy management of the local application state.

The fundamental principles of MobX are:

  • The state of the application is stored in a single object tree
  • There could be multiple stores for storing the state of an application
  • Derivations from the state are updated automatically as and when the state changes
  • Any action happening in the code can change of state of an application
  • Easily testable without a browser

When we observe what is MobX, we see that MobX can execute on any type of ES5 environment that supports Rhino, NodeJS, React Native, and all browsers apart from IE8. It also works well with any type of modernized JS environment. It makes state management easy through Transparent Functional Reactive Programming (TFRP).

MobX offers the writing of minimalistic code that is boilerplate-free and seamless rendering. The code is portable, testable, and decoupled and hence offers convenience to developers. Applications through MobX can automatically store different observable data types in various MobX stores. It makes use of abstraction for hiding the background processes and directly updates its state without prior cloning.

What is Redux?

Redux is a predictable state container for JS apps that is predictable, centralized, debug gable and flexible

Redux assists in writing applications with consistent behavior that execute in different environments and are easily testable. With features like live code editing, debugger, and many others, developers have a fantastic experience. As a popular state management solution, it combines functional programming fundamentals with Flux.

The fundamental principles of Redux are:

  • Actions ask for store alterations
  • Offers an insightful single store with all details
  • Immutable state in store
  • Reducers for state updates

Created in 2015, Redux was primarily for state management of the React framework. Written in JavaScript, it is a combination of the Flux architecture and functional programming fundamentals of the Elm language. It offers application state management in a central repository.

The singular application state cannot be updated by the application.
Developers must go by clear coding patterns since there is a lot of boilerplate code, which must be made use of. There are 3 major components – the UI to pass the user approach, the Event Handler that receives the action from the UI, and then the Store with Reducers that gets a copy of the State from the Event Handler. The Reducers update the State of the Store.

When we observe what is Redux, we perceive that Redux is mainly used to manage states in which there is a lot of data that keeps changing along with time. It creates user interfaces for front-end technologies like React, Angular, etc., and offers good support for cross-platform development.

In cases of frontend technologies like React, there is their individual application state management. After development, it gets complex to comprehend and that is where the role of Redux comes into good play. It can work with any UI layer, providing a diverse selection of add-on components.

MobX vs Redux: Pros and Cons

Pros of MobX:

  • Simple and scalable state management
  • Usage of functional reactive programming
  • Easy to grasp and use with minimal code to write
  • Effortless management of nested data
  • Complete support for object-oriented programming
  • Application state monitoring outside any UI framework
  • Portable and easily testable code
  • Highly scalable and simple to use
  • Fast in execution and easy to test
  • Battle-tested state management solution

Cons of MobX:

  • Tough for debugging
  • Too much freedom leads to more bugs
  • Difficult to get immutability

Pros of Redux – 

  • Support for tooling
  • Independent library for UI frameworks
  • Extensive community support
  • Separate data and presentation layers
  • Single-direction data flow and immutability
  • Simple to use and traceable
  • Extendable through middleware
  • Centralized State management
  • Performance optimization
  • Storage of long-term data

Cons of Redux:

  • Time-consuming
  • Lack of encapsulation
  • More usage of memory

MobX vs Redux: Key Alternatives

MobX Alternatives:

Knockout, GraphQL Cache, Relay framework, VueX, RxJS, Flux, Apollo, React, Recoil, Hookstate, React Easy, Redux.js, etc.

Redux Alternatives:

React’s inbuilt contexts, MobX, Apollo GraphQL, Jumpsuit, Helpers with conventional redux.js, Recoil, Overmind, etc.

MobX vs Redux: Companies Using Them

Organizations Using MobX:

Bonton, ProtoPie, Productive Edge, DAZN.com, imgstry, Pondus, Coinbase, Encodo, Infinium, etc.

Organizations Using Redux:

Instagram, Robinhood, Amazon, DoorDash, Tech Stack, Revolt, Stack, Mollie, Hepsiburada, etc.

MobX vs Redux Key Similarities

  • External libraries that are framework agnostic
  • Offer big support for React/React Native frameworks
  • Work with any framework or library like Vanilla JavaScript, Angular
  • Support time-travel debugging
  • Offer client-side state management
  • Possess open-source libraries
  • State management in JavaScript applications
  • Have their own development tools


MobX vs Redux: Evaluating Two Popular Libraries

Parameters MobX Redux
Overview A battle-tested library that follows functional reactive programming (TFRP) for the management of simple states. Helps in maintaining the state’s consistency. A state management framework that goes by the JavaScript library for state management. Helps in the creation of apps that behave consistently on all platforms.
Code Based on JavaScript Based on ES6
Founders Michel Weststrate Dan Abramov, Andrew Clark
Storage Locations Multiple storage locations One huge data storage space
Application Development Ideal for small to medium-scale app development Ideal for complex and large-scale app development
Concepts Depends on reactive programming concepts Depends on functional programming concepts
Learning Curve Easy to learn and grasp since it follows the OOPS concept A little tough to learn and grasp since it follows the functional programming
Scalability Less scalable More scalable
Normalization Denormalized data can be maintained Only normalized data can be maintained
Data Storage Uses an observable for storing data Uses JavaScript objects for storing data
Updates Automatic Manual
State Management States can be overwritten and hence can be updated by newer values States are read-only and hence cannot be overwritten
Debugging Tough to debug as available tools are not that effective Easy to debug as there are many effective tools available
Abstraction A lot of inbuilt abstraction leading to lesser coding Lesser abstraction leading to more of coding
Maintainability Less maintainable More maintainable
Purity Pure functions as they receive a state and return a new one Impure functions as existing states can be overwritten with new values
Boilerplate Code Implicit in nature and hence packs lesser boilerplate code Explicit in nature and hence packs a high volume of boilerplate code
Community Support and Popularity Limited documentation and community support, less popular than Redux Extensive documentation and community support, more popular than MobX
MobX vs Redux – Wrapping It Up

As we compare the difference between MobX and Redux, we see that there are many parameters that are involved when choosing between the two. Both are used for frontend libraries like React and Angular, making the UI interactive and real-time visualization.

Novices can go in for MobX since it is easy to use and grasp. Those having detailed know-how of programming languages can go in for Redux. If there is a long-term project and there are continuous data changes, you can choose Redux because of its scalability and popularity.

If managing the state of the application is important and if it is a basic application that must be delivered fast, you can choose MobX. Whatever the difference between Redux and MobX, there is a lot both have to offer, and hence choosing either is an advantageous deal!

Finally, it is up to the organization to come up with a selection based on different aspects such as skilled resources, costs involved, project timelines, organizational objectives, etc. The ever-debatable Redux Vs MobX comparison can turn quite interesting yet challenging, for organizations going in for effective state management solutions.


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