Redis Sorted Set: Limit Size (Detailed Guide w/ Code Examples)

Use Case(s)

  • Maintaining a leaderboard with a fixed number of top scores.
  • Keeping track of the latest N items in a log or feed.
  • Enforcing size constraints on sorted sets to manage memory usage efficiently.

Code Examples

To limit the size of a sorted set, you can use the ZADD command followed by the ZREMRANGEBYRANK command to remove elements outside the desired range.


import redis r = redis.Redis() # Add a new score r.zadd('leaderboard', {'user1': 100}) # Remove the lowest scores if necessary max_size = 10 r.zremrangebyrank('leaderboard', 0, -max_size-1)


const redis = require('redis'); const client = redis.createClient(); client.zadd('leaderboard', 100, 'user1', (err, res) => { const maxSize = 10; client.zremrangebyrank('leaderboard', 0, -(maxSize + 1), (err, res) => { if (err) console.error(err); }); });


package main import ( "" "context" ) func main() { ctx := context.Background() rdb := redis.NewClient(&redis.Options{ Addr: "localhost:6379", }) // Add a new score rdb.ZAdd(ctx, "leaderboard", &redis.Z{Score: 100, Member: "user1"}) // Remove the lowest scores if necessary maxSize := 10 rdb.ZRemRangeByRank(ctx, "leaderboard", 0, int64(-maxSize-1)) }

Best Practices

  • Regularly trim your sorted sets to enforce size limits and prevent uncontrolled growth.
  • Use appropriate data expiration strategies and Redis persistence options to manage large datasets effectively.

Common Mistakes

  • Forgetting to handle potential errors from Redis commands, which can lead to unexpected behavior in your application.
  • Incorrectly calculating the range for ZREMRANGEBYRANK, leading to unintended deletions.


Q: What happens if the sorted set is smaller than the specified maximum size? A: If the sorted set has fewer elements than the maximum size, the ZREMRANGEBYRANK command will effectively do nothing, leaving the sorted set unchanged.

Q: Is there a way to atomically add an element and trim the sorted set in one operation? A: Redis does not support atomic operations for adding and trimming in a single command. However, using Lua scripting, you can achieve atomicity for more complex operations.

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