Difference between Char and Varchar

Difference between Char and Varchar

Following the invention of the computer, a demand for new and diverse programming and computer languages arose. Different computer languages arrived with a variety of codes and data kinds to meet the needs of the users.

SQL is the most commonly used and taught programming language. This is how programmers store different strings of data of various lengths. The data types ‘char’ and ‘varchar’ are two of the most regularly used.

Char Vs. Varchar

The distinction between Char and Varchar is that char exclusively stores fixed-length single string data types, whereas varchar stores variable characters of various strings whose length varies.

The SQL data type Char stands for ‘characters’ and is used to store characters. Only non-Unicode data, i.e. only one type of string per cell, is stored. It also has a set length, which can range between 1-255 characters.

Varchar is another SQL data type that can be used to store variable-length characters. ‘Variable character’ is what it stands for. It stores alphanumeric data, and the size is determined by the string being stored.

Varchar is a SQL code for storing variable characters, whereas Char is a SQL code for storing characters. Character is abbreviated as Char, and Variable character is abbreviated as VCHAR. VACHAR stores alphanumeric data of variable length and is dependent on the specific. Char stores values of constant length and is equal to the maximum of the column. VACHAR is a dynamic memory allocation system, whereas Char is a static memory allocation system. When the length of the characters is concise and known, programmers can utilize CHAR. When the length of the data entries varies, programmers can utilize VACHAR.

What is Char?

Char is a fixed-value data type that stores non-Unicode data values. ‘Char’ is what it stands for. Only when the length of data storage is known is it employed by programmers.

They have a maximum character limit of 255 characters and the storage capacity is the same as the storage size for the column because they only store one type of string. In addition, they store each character with one byte.

They use static memory allocation, which means the variable’s storage is permanent and the memory has already been allocated before the codes are input and executed.

They outperform varchar in terms of performance.

What is Varchar?

Variable characters are stored in the Varchar data type. ‘Variable character’ is what it stands for. They are used by programmers when the data length varies and more than one data type is required.

Because they have distinct strings, their maximum character limit is 65,535 characters, which varies depending on the character limit of each string. They, like char, use one byte per character. They do, however, take an extra 1 or 2 bytes to store length information.

They allocate memory in a dynamic manner. When the length or amount of data to be saved is uncertain or variable, this is utilized. It also allows you to save data without having to worry about exceeding a certain amount.

They are used to store information such as addresses.

Difference between Char and Varchar

  1. Though both are SQL codes, they are very different since ‘char’ is used to store fixed-length characters, and ‘varchar’ is used to store variable-length characters.
  2. ‘Char’ refers to a single character, while ‘varchar’ refers to a variable character. As a result, we may deduce what they are employed for based on their abbreviations.
  3. The storage capacity for char is the same as the column’s storage size, and it only holds data of fixed length, such as phone numbers. Varchar’s storage size is determined on the string being stored, as it holds various alphanumeric strings such as an address.
  4. Char allocates memory in a static manner, whereas varchar allocates memory in a dynamic manner.
  5. For character storage, Char employs one byte per character. Varchar, like char, stores each character in a single byte. The distinction between them is that varchar utilises an extra 1 or 2 bytes to store length information, whereas char does not.
  6. Because char is only used for fixed values, the maximum character limit is just 255. They only employ data of the string type. Varchar, on the other hand, has a character limit of 65535 characters since it can store several strings of data, and the limit is determined by the length of each string.
  7. The two codes are also used in distinct ways. When the length of the data value is known, programmers use char, but varchar is used when the length of data values varies for each cell.
  8. Char saves only specific string characters, as the name implies. Varchar, on the other hand, may store a variety of string characters such as alphabets, numerals, and variables. As a result, they’re both used for distinct things.


With computer language comes a plethora of data kinds and codes that cater to the most basic needs of consumers and programmers. SQL is one such language, and the data types ‘char’ and ‘varchar’ are similar.

The data type ‘Char’ stores fixed-length data values with a storage size equal to the column’s storage size. They’re mainly utilised by programmers when they need to store data in a specific range or with short data characters. Because they are non-Unicode data types, they have a character limit of 250.

‘Varchar’ is another data type that also stores characters, but unlike char, it can store alphanumeric or various string characters. They are used when the data values are not fixed and keeps varying. They have a character limit of 65535 characters as they store different strings.

Though they both store characters, they are used by programmers differently because they have different storage size and store different types of characters. Also, char stores only fixed-length data values whereas varchar stores variable-length data values.

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