Jose Jimenez
Jose Jimenez
Software Architect & Developer
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Understanding the Laravel N+1 Problem and How to Solve It

Published in PHP, Laravel on Apr 8, 2024

When working with Laravel and its powerful ORM, Eloquent, you may come across a common performance issue known as the N+1 problem. This problem can significantly impact the performance of your application if not addressed properly. In this article, we will explore what the N+1 problem is and how to solve it.

What is the N+1 Problem?

The N+1 problem occurs when using an ORM, like Laravel's Eloquent, to retrieve related data from a database. By default, when you retrieve a collection of models, Eloquent may also load related models. For instance, if you have a "User" model with a relationship to a "Post" model, retrieving a collection of users could also load all related posts for each user.

The issue arises when you iterate over this collection and access a related model for each item. This triggers additional queries to fetch the related data, resulting in a large number of queries being executed. This can lead to a significant degradation in performance, especially when dealing with a large number of records.

Solving the N+1 Problem with Eager Loading

Thankfully, Laravel provides a solution to the N+1 problem through a technique called eager loading. Eager loading allows you to specify which related models should be loaded with the main query, reducing the number of queries needed to fetch the related data.

To eager load relationships in Laravel, you can use the with method on your query. Let's take a look at an example to understand how to use eager loading effectively:

1$users = User::with('posts')->get();

In the example above, we are retrieving a collection of users along with their related posts. By using with('posts'), Laravel will load all the posts for the users with a single query, rather than executing separate queries for each user.

This approach significantly improves performance by minimizing the number of queries executed. It eliminates the N+1 problem by fetching the related data upfront, reducing the overhead of additional queries during iteration.

Additional Considerations

While eager loading solves the N+1 problem, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Be mindful of the relationships you eager load: While eager loading can improve performance, it's important to evaluate the relationships you load. Loading unnecessary relationships can lead to increased memory usage and slower queries. Therefore, only eager load the relationships that are required for your specific use case.

  2. Use eager loading with caution on large datasets: Eager loading can be incredibly efficient, but it may not be suitable for all scenarios, especially when dealing with large datasets. In such cases, you might want to explore alternative strategies like chunking the data or using lazy loading.

  3. Leverage query constraints: Eager loading supports query constraints, allowing you to further refine the related data you load. By adding constraints to the with method, you can filter, order, or limit the related data based on your needs.


The Laravel N+1 problem is a common performance issue that can impact your application's efficiency. However, by leveraging eager loading and being mindful of the relationships you load, you can solve this problem effectively. Eager loading reduces the number of queries executed and improves the performance of your Laravel applications. Remember to use eager loading when necessary, consider the dataset size, and leverage query constraints for optimal performance.

By implementing these best practices, you can ensure your Laravel applications run smoothly and efficiently, providing a better user experience.