Using records in Clojure

When to use:

  • Fixed set of keys in multiple map instances
  • Defer until you have protocols


  • Created quickly
  • Less memory overhead
  • Key lookup performance same/faster when compared to equivalent hash-maps
  • Can implement protocols
  • Generated class has a type that can be used to dispatch methods using multimethod


  • Cannot be used as a function like hash-maps can
  • Cannot be compared to an equivalent hash-map in terms of identity


(defrecord TreeNode [value left right])

(= (TreeNode. 2 nil nil) {:val 2 :left nil :right nil}) ;; => false
  • No structural sharing when changing(redefining) a record

tl;dr Stick to hash-maps until you have a specific requirement to use Records.

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