SQLite TEXT and VARCHAR are both data types used to store character strings in a SQLite database, but they have some differences in terms of their behavior and usage. Let’s explore these differences:

Data Type

TEXT is a data type in SQLite that can store character strings of variable length. It is a flexible data type and can store text data of virtually any length. SQLite does not impose a fixed limit on the length of a TEXT field.

VARCHAR, which stands for “variable character,” is also used to store character strings of variable length. However, in SQLite, VARCHAR is essentially just an alias for the TEXT data type. SQLite treats VARCHAR as equivalent to TEXT, so there is no practical difference between them in terms of storage capacity or behavior.


TEXT and VARCHAR fields store character data as-is, without any character set conversion. They preserve the original encoding of the data, making them suitable for storing various text formats, including Unicode, ASCII, and more.


In terms of length, both TEXT and VARCHAR can store strings of virtually unlimited length, as SQLite does not have a built-in maximum length for these data types. The actual maximum length you can store depends on available disk space and system resources.


Performance-wise, there is no significant difference between using TEXT or VARCHAR. SQLite internally handles both data types in a similar way, and there should be no noticeable performance variation based solely on choosing one over the other.


While SQLite treats TEXT and VARCHAR as interchangeable, using VARCHAR may be more familiar to users who come from other database systems like MySQL or PostgreSQL, where VARCHAR is a distinct data type with an optional length specification. In SQLite, the length specification is not required or enforced for VARCHAR.

Recommended Use

In practice, you can use either TEXT or VARCHAR to store character strings in your SQLite database without worrying about their functional differences. It’s important to choose a naming convention that aligns with your database design preferences and maintain consistency in your schema.

In summary, when working with SQLite databases, you can use either TEXT or VARCHAR to store character data with no significant differences in behavior or performance. The choice between the two is primarily a matter of naming convention and personal preference, and both data types offer flexibility for storing variable-length text data.